El Niño Phenomenon | Go Galapagos

El Niño Phenomenon

Marine currents suffer a shift in their latitudes every year, as the Humboldt Current gets more to the north in the Cold Season, and the Panama Flow gets more to the south in the Hot Season. This is due to the weakness or strength of the Trade Winds that blow from the southeastern direction. When they blow strong, Humboldt Current predominates, if they are weak, then the Panama Flow enters plainly in the Galapagos.

In an unpredictable way, every ten to twenty years, the Trade Winds stop. This causes the Panama Flow to completely overflow the islands creating high temperature on the water and humidity on the air. This event occurs for about a year, and is called El Niño Northern Oscillation (ENSO). The first effects of the event start at the end of December, around Christmas, so the name “El Niño” stands for “The Child”.